- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Suborder: Araneomorphae
- Family: Theridiidae
- Genus: Latrodectus
- Species: Latrodectus geometricus
Common Name (AAS)
Other Common Names
Gray Widow, Widow Spider, Brown Button Spider, Geometric Button Spider, Hourglass Spider, Cobweb Spider, Cob Web Spider, Comb-footed Spider, Tangle-web Spider, Gumfoot-web Spider
Carl Ludwig Koch, 1841
There have been 88 confirmed sightings of Latrodectus geometricus (Brown Widow Spider), with the most recent sighting submitted on January 7, 2020 by Spider ID member kwc95. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 88 sightings because of certain Latrodectus geometricus sightings reporting incomplete data.
- Web: 56% of the time, Latrodectus geometricus spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 62)
- Sex: 23 female and 5 male.
- Environment: Latrodectus geometricus has been sighted 48 times outdoors, and 18 times indoors.
- Outdoors: Man-made structure (39). Low foliage (4). High foliage (1). Ground layer (2). Under rock or debris (1). Desert area (1).
Location and Range
Latrodectus geometricus (Brown Widow Spider) has been sighted in the following countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Curacao, India, Israel, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United States.
Latrodectus geometricus has also been sighted in the following states: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Texas.
Latrodectus geometricus has been primarily sighted during the month of March.
- January: 9
- February: 6
- March: 16
- April: 4
- May: 13
- June: 10
- July: 4
- August: 4
- September: 2
- October: 5
- November: 2
- December: 2
- Not the only “widow spider” in North America; there are also four other species of Latrodectus.
- This spider may be common in yards and gardens, sometimes building its web in more exposed situations than other species of Latrodectus.
- Egg sacs are brown or beige spherical tufted/spiky objects that may be the best clues in identifying this species when the spider itself is not present (no other species of widow creates spiky egg sacs). Each one is ~10 millimeters in diameter and contains anywhere from 80-150 eggs; the species is very prolific, with females producing up to 20 sacs in their lifetime.
- The venom of this species is potentially dangerous to humans, but the spider itself is timid and non-aggressive. Like other species of Latrodectus, its venom is neurotoxic, and while it’s likely to be just as potent as that of other widow spiders, it’s thought that they inject far less venom and bites usually only result in localized pain and swelling.
- The spider can be mistaken for the “Common House Spider,” Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Check for a red or orange hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen, which is present on Latrodectus but not on Parasteatoda. The eye arrangements and egg sacs are also very different between the two types of spider.